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Al Haig's threat to have Spiro Agnew killed


Mark Gorton
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From pages 106-107 in "Go Quietly ..... or Else", Spiro Agnew's book on Watergate: "the left wingers determined to reverse the election results by forcing Nixon out of the presidency by a process which amounted to a coup d'etat. However, they would have gained nothing by kicking out Nixon only to have me come into power as his successor. .... So to make their revolution a success, they had to get rid of me first."

It is interesting that Agnew perceived the overall shape of the plot. However, he failed to see it was a right wing plot rather than a left wing plot. This is understandable. Given his background as a politician from Maryland, there would not have been much reason for him to be exposed to and understand the dirty dealings of the CIA.

He also tells the story of how Al Haig and Bryce Harlow met with him to try to convince him to resign. He said that Haig did most of the talking and claimed to be sent by Nixon. Haig appears to be the most active person in working to get Agnew to resign. From page 157, "In the back of my mind was the question, How much of Nixon's policy toward me was really his own, and how much was dictated by Haig? The President insulated himself so well it was impossible to find out which orders came from him and which from the people around him."

Time and again, Haig can be seen working to push out Agnew, and Haig can be seen working to convince other people in the administration that Agnew needs to go. Haig claims that the evidence against Agnew is "ironclad", but Agnew makes a strong case that the evidence is only some people with motives to prevent themselves from going to jail by giving shaky testimony.

On pages 186-190, Agnew claims that Haig made a vague threat on Agnew's life. Haig said, "anything may be in the offing". In response to this comment, Agnew writes, "I was close enough to the presidency to know that the office could exert tremendous power. I had attended secret sessions of the National Security Council and knew something about the functioning of the intelligence community. I knew that men in the White House, professing to speak for the President, could order the C.I.A. to carry out missions that were very unhealthy for people who were considered enemies. Since the revelations have come out about the C.I.A.'s attempts to assassinated Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders, I realize even more than before that I might have been in great danger. Haig's word to Dunn that after indictment "anything may be in the offing" could only be construed as an open ended threat."

Agnew continues, "I did not know what might happen to me. But I don't mind admitting I was frightened. This directive was aimed at me like a gun at my head. That is the only way I can describe it. I was told, "Go quietly--or else." I feared for my life. If a decision had been made to elimate me - through an automobile accident, a fake suicide, or whatever-the order would not have been traced back to the White House any more than the "get Castro" orders were ever traced to their souce."

Agnew then goes on to describe that Haig was running the White House and doing this without Nixon's knowledge.

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Thanks for posting this information. I was unaware Agnew had written a book and had always wondered what he thought about the hammer that came down on him before Nixon's fall. I remember Senator Goldwater openly being critical of how Agnew had been treated or I should say mistreated.

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What was Agnew's reaction after Watergate and the resignation of NIxon? Does he share that in the book? I am sure he was jumping for joy.

Agnew is a interesting figure mostly ignored by history except for maybe Baltimore/Maryland history. I'm sure this guy knew a lot of dirty stuff about Nixon and things Nixon did that we still don't know about.

This is what I got from Wikipedia , at least it sounds like Agnew was a guy who didn't want to hold any grudges :

'Agnew always maintained that the tax evasion and bribery charges were an attempt by Nixon to divert attention from the growing Watergate scandal. For the rest of their lives, Agnew and Nixon never spoke to each other again. As a gesture of reconciliation, Nixon's daughters invited Agnew to attend Nixon's funeral in 1994, and Agnew complied. In 1996, when Agnew died, Nixon's daughters returned the favor by attending Agnew's funeral.'

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Agnew is indeed ignored by history. There is almost nothing available on him on the internet. In his book, he sounds legitimately sorry that Nixon was forced to resign. His ordeal was a real torment for him. Reading the book, you end up feeling really sorry for the guy. He sounds like a Nixon loyalist really to the end, and he seemed to empathize with Nixon's plight. It was certainly very similar to his own. There certainly are notes of bitterness like when Nixon had a party to celebrate his new pick for VP, and some of Nixon's behaviors that came out in the press seemed to validate a view of Nixon that was harsher than what Agnew originally believed, and Agnew sounds a bit disillusioned.

You can get his book used for 25 cents on Amazon (plus shipping). His story rings true and he has some original source documents in the appendix to back up his claims. You can add his name to the list of lives senseless ruined by the CIA cabal.

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It's interesting you mentioned the CIA cabal. I think this Cabal changed the course of U.S. History by invovling itself in domestic political murder (JFK/RFK/MLK) plus other nafarious acts in those times.

But from what I've read, its somewhat claimed by historians that it was Nixon himself that cleaned up the CIA when he came in. Do you find that to be true? Did Nixon clean house at the CIA? One story I read in some book some time back mentioned that Nixon gave the CIA an amensty type of program where you in the CIA could turn in anyone or any knowledge of illegal acts by the company and not be prosecuted.

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Nixon's relationship with the CIA is an interesting one. At the start of his first administration, he tried to get info on the bay of pigs, and Richard Helms just stonewalled him. Over time, he began to realize just how intransigent the CIA was. As he grew to realize the scope of the problem in the CIA, he made efforts to reform it, and he did get rid of Richard Helms. He tried to find out the dirty secrets of the CIA and congressional investigations also made some progress on this front. Even the not so bad stuff at the CIA was pretty horrible and shocking, so by Nixon's second term he had determined that he really wanted to clean house at the CIA. There is a recent active thread on this topic. But the CIA was able to remove him before he could really get the job done. It was Jimmy Carter who took out the top 400 guys at the CIA and really broke the back of the cabal within the CIA.

There was also in internal purge of 2000 guys following Carter's removal of the top 200. I don't understand the logic or the motivation for that purge, so if anyone knows, please let me in. The most common theory is a worry about a Russian mole. But in general, that tends to be an excuse for covering up something much more evil.

After the Church and Pike commissions, David Atlee Philips, one of the main guys in the JFK assassination organized The Association of Retired Intelligence officers, later The Association of Former Intelligence officers. And when Carter purged the CIA, it filled up with the rest of the gang. It was basically a cover for the continuing cover up of the Kennedy assassinations. It continues to exist today. They have a website www.afio.org. Check it out, it lists George H.W. Bush as head of the honorary board of directors. It kind of amazes me that they were able to operate in plain sight like this. But I suppose that is part of the genius of the whole cover up.

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Thanks for that info. I suspected something must have happened under Carter since Carter allowed the Church Committee to operate to review the JFK Assassination. Even with that many witnesses were killed before they could testify.

I wonder if that CIA purge took revenge on Carter during Iran Hostage situation and attempted rescue where they all screwed up. Reagan probably brought some of those guys back during his reign. And I've heard the Reagan Hinkley Bush connection conspiracy theories but not too sure about that. But I do agree with many mainstream researches who claim that Bush Sr. was actually running the country during Regan's 2nd term because he was just too old and out of it by then. Ironic if true if Bush Jr. Ran Reagan II while 20 years later if was VP Cheney running his son Bush W.

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